What People Are Saying
Debate, out of all of my classes, has the greatest concentration of intelligent, outspoken, and successful students. Although that can look very different from case to case, I think ultimately it's a testament to the incredible program you've built. The results you see in us are a reflection of your talent and effort, and I think that's as good a compliment as anyone can receive. Never lose your passion; it makes us great and you, you.
- Archer French, Recent Graduate 2019
You have been the most influential teacher in my life, and as a high-tier nerd, my life is full of teachers, so I say "most" with some serious weight. You are so incredibly funny and kind and, above all, you're one of the most perceptive people I have ever known.
- Sarvesh Subramanian, Recent Graduate 2021
I finally might have found my niche. Debate suddenly became my outlet, my second home and a lot of times my source of entertainment. Everything that you have done for the debate team has created a comfortable environment and has made us all feel like we belong.
- Sheri Naqvi, Former Student 2015-2018
"It has been almost a decade since our family came to know you as the Clear Brook Debate coach and in these last ten years you have done so much for our two children. You have always gone above and beyond simply doing the job of a public school teacher. We feel very fortunate that our children crossed paths with you so early in their young lives. You have instilled in them the value of hard work, commitment to goals and sense of self worth. I have always admired you for your no-nonsense approach to handling students, which is indeed very rare in today's politically correct world....students will remember and appreciate your candor and kindness long after they have left the confines of Clear Brook."
- Siromi & Ravin Wijesinghe, Debate Parents 2007-2017
"Mr. Rutledge - you are my homie! You are the chillest teacher I've ever had. I wish I took Debate so I could've had your class all four years! Thanks for everything!"
- Vritney Fincher, Speech Student, 2017
"You have been one of the most influential teachers in my entire educational career. You have made me a more confident and responsible individual and I will owe any future success to you and all that you have taught me over the last three years. You are the only teacher I have met who goes above and beyond for the success of your students and I can say with great confidence that you are one of the most dedicated teachers at Brook. Thank you for all you've done. Love You!"
- Heena Popatia, Debate Student, 2014-2017
"I will never forget the time and effort you put into your students and the Debate program as well. You have helped provide an amazing outlet for me and so many others because of your open and creative teaching style. Thank you for all that you've done."
- Sheri Naqvi, Debate Student, 2014-2017
"The amazing memories we have made together throughout these past four years are ones I'll never forget. From my first debate tournament to Churchill and TFA State, we have always had fun. You have brought me closer to a close-knit family with whom I have made relationships and memories that I will cherish forever. Thank you for your hard work and dedication."
- Anish Antony, Debate Student 2013-2017
"We are all very thankful for the sacrifices you have made to ensure the success of the team. And thank you personally for the impact you have had on my life. From a coach to a role model to an "interim therapist", you have been it all for me. Best Regard,"
- Ryan Williams, Debate Student, 2014-2017
"I enjoy your class; I think it's engaging and fun and I really love the atmosphere. We all act like "whatever" but we're also a little group and I think that's awesome! I know my career goal at the moment is to be a lawyer and that, right now, I don't really have that potential, but with your teaching I feel I may actually get there."
- Current Student, 2017
"You are amazing! Thank you for your dedication to Wolverine Speech & Debate. We are so lucky to have such a passionate teacher who really cares about students!"
- Sharon Lopez, Associate Principal, 2017
"Wow! You are having a stellar season, but it's not over yet!"
- Sharon Lopez, Associate Principal, 2017
"I can't begin to describe how thankful I am for everything you have done for me. I'll never forget how you pushed me to forget all of my fears and go out and compete during freshman year. You are - by far - the best teacher I have ever had, and you have touched my life in a way that most teachers can only dream of. You are a big reason that I became the person who I am today and I will miss you greatly."
- Matthew J Garcia, Former Student, 2016
"Thank you for actually teaching us things that will be used in the real world and for not being afraid to make jokes we can relate to!"
- Mattie Rylant, Former Speech Student, 2016
"I am currently sitting at the Cincinnati airport with my first internship job offer in hand and I just wanted to say a big thank you to you. As I was giving my interview today and talking about my four years at Brook, I thought back to all the wonderful times I had and all the skills you helped grow in me. If it was not for debate, I definitely do not think I would be in this position today. My interviewers were so impressed by my communication and presentation skills that were the result of your coaching and guidance......I just wanted to let you know I really appreciate everything you've done for me and continue to do for everyone in the program because your efforts really help us shine in the real world!"
- Ruchika Bengani, Former Debate Student
"Thank you again for the beautiful, amazing, touching, classy evening. You have created an atmosphere for and among your students that is incredibly unique. They are clearly touched by your dedication to their success and that inspires them to naturally support each other. We feel that you are the jewel of Clear Brook High School and will miss you tremendously...Your class has been, for one period each day, a haven from a lonely daily experience. That has meant the world to our son. We will stay in touch. Again, we thank you for a celebration we will always remember. It was moving, so fun, and first-class all around--as are you."
- Carol Barrett, Debate Parent 2013-2014
"I want to sincerely thank you for the unbelievable energy you put into this weekend for the students. My son seemed to have a wonderful time; he enjoyed being immersed in the academically-charged atmosphere, having good conversations, and getting his feet wet in this new opportunity. We are so proud of his initial success, but more importantly grateful that he felt at home and supported among a group of peers. When I picked him up, he had a trophy in each hand and a smile on his face. He was totally content with life, having been pressed to rise to a new challenge. As a parent I cannot think of anything that means more."
- Former Debate Parent, 2014
'My husband and I want to thank you for your tremendous efforts and enthusiasm. Your class may just be the silver lining we have been waiting for!"
- Carol Barrett, Debate Parent 2013-2014
"Words can never, never, express my feelings for our "Rutledge". He is the epitome of a teacher, friend, and well raised gentleman. I have never worried if my daughter is in safe hands when traveling with the debate team. The debate team is truly a family. Michael Rutledge is the head and spine of this unique family. I am so thrilled my only daughter has this eclectic group of individuals to call her second family."
- Lynne Hern, Debate Parent 2010-2014
"Mr. Rutledge - WOW! And WOW again! You have been an amazing teacher. You have gone above and beyond in every area. Your clear expectations, efficient grading, parent emails, and relevant lessons were greatly appreciated this semester. A special thank you for taking the time to get to know Courtney. She came in dreading your class. She has always been shy and would just as soon go without than to ask someone for something. After the first day, she came home describing you ( the black diamond ring and monogrammed cuffs) and your teaching style. She was impressed from the get go. I have listened to many speeches over and over. The abortion one I won’t forget! I laughed the day you described the inside of her backpack without ever opening it. As you can tell, you and your class has made many dinner talks. Thank you for taking the time to calculate where the two extra points would benefit Courtney the most. The fact that you care as much about her grade as she does really puts the icing on the cake. Thanks for a fantastic class that has stretched my quiet girl from her comfort zone. I wish every kid had the opportunity to experience you and your class."
- Mrs. Eck, Speech Parent 2012-2013
"I think it's amazing how you take the initiative to give the students a dose of reality for what will be expected in their near future after high school. I find so many parents to be so busy that they don't take interest in what their children are learning each day. I think you have challenged my daughter this year in a good way. I ask her everyday to tell me what happens at school, what classes have impacted her the most, and what topics she needs help
with. I have noticed a positive change this semester since you began educating my daughter. I hear so many great things about you! Thank you so much for being her teacher. I can see that you really do care about your students, and it's so refreshing to see you go that extra mile each day. I think the best teachers are those who have experienced life outside of the classroom to know what the children really need to know outside to the classroom textbooks. I wish my girls had more positive influential teachers like you!"
- Liz Soliz, Speech Parent 2012-2013
"In my opinion, I don't think I did enough to thank you for everything you did for me back in high school. The greatness of it was something I did not realize until later. You and your debate program were my greatest constants back then. Without you I would not have come out the same person, or be on the track I am on today (a good track, I think, by the way). More than anything, with your help I learned to do something that nobody else had ever bothered to teach me: how to think, and not what to think. I had a lot of different opinions back then. But I've found that the world is filled to the brim with new ideas and good people, and being able to stay open-minded when sorting it out has made all the difference. I'm a better man for it. You deserve 100% of the credit for that."
- John Fossum, Former Student 2005-2009
"You and your class were the topic of discussion at last night's supper table. My daughter said that you are very dynamic and was sure that your class
would be very interesting even though she has been dreading Speech class. I am excited to watch her grow as I know she will step out of her comfort zone for a good grade. She has already discussed with us her pet peeve. I hope we get to see the video at some point. I am really excited that she is in your class. Sounds like you are exactly what she needs."
- Speech Parent 2012-2013
"I just wanted to take a minute to say thank you for all you do for our children. Debate, and you as a teacher, have made a huge difference in my son's life and he has so much respect for you and is really trying to do better in school as a result of being in debate and you as a teacher. Just wanted to say thank you for making a difference in these young people's lives and for being who you are and being the kind of teacher they can appreciate and respect."
- Laurie Jackson, Debate Parent 2012-2014
"Thank you so much for all of the wonderful things that have happened in the past four years. You have been such an amazing and supportive debate coach. I can honestly say that debate has changed my life for the better."
- Former Student - 2011
"You have been both an amazing teacher and friend to me these past two years. You are very caring and understanding. You've helped me so much just by being yourself. Thank you for always being here for me and guiding me through my first two years of high school."
- Former Student - 2013
"Your brilliance outshines every other teacher. Speech was originally a class I thought would be a waste of time, but now I have changed my mind
completely. Thanks to you, I have learned more in your class than in so many other classes."
- Former Student - 2012
"I actually miss being in debate. You are a great debate teacher. I think you should know that your class helped me a lot on my social / communication skills. I wish I would have kept taking debate."
- Former Student - 2011
"I wanted to thank you for being a mentor to my daughter. She speaks nothing but good things about you and that makes me happy. I work in a school district and find too often teachers who have forgotten what they set out to do or why they became a teacher. It is not only about teaching our children but guiding them as well. Sometimes we as adults are the only adult figures they have and are seeking the guidance from us that they don't get from home. Thank you for being a wonderful teacher...we need more like you."
- Christel Ford, Debate Parent - 2010-2013
"You have been such an influential person in my life, and I do not think I would be where I am today without your dedication, commitment and genuine
care. The lessons you taught me in high school - both debate and life lessons - have been invaluable throughout college. I only wish there were
more teachers like you."
- Former Student - 2011
"Your class has changed the way I approach life and made me more confident than I ever was. Any time I go for an interview, the first thing I mention
is my time in debate. Hope you have many more years ahead of you! Thank a lot for everything."
- Former Student - 2010
"I learned so much from you. Please push my brother to excel the way you pushed me!"
- Skyler Schneider, Former Student - 2007-2010
"I can honestly say I would not be where I am in my career or the person I am without your relentless commitment to me and all the rest. Keep making
a difference! Here's to the next ten!"
- Former Student - 2009
"Mr. Rutledge - What a fantastic banquet! You did an excellent job putting everything together. You are a delight to work with as you are always organized and well planned and you make everyone comfortable. Your quick wit makes for a very enjoyable time. Thank you for all that you do."
- Parent 2013
"You did an amazing job at banquet! Thank you for all that you do for our kids. You make a HUGE difference!"
- Parent 2013